Book #8 of The Hollows Series
by Kim Harrison
Publisher: Harper Voyager (December 2010)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 576 (paperback)
Source: Personal Library
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter—and lived to tell the tale. But she’s never faced off against her own kind . . . until now.
Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment—her worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery. Only her enemies are strong enough to help her win her freedom. But trust comes hard when it hinges on the unscrupulous tycoon Trent Kalamack, the demon Algaliarept, and a lowlife ex-boyfriend-turned-thief.
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. I was on edge pretty much the whole time. Apparently, the coven of moral and ethical standards no longer just wants Rachel shunned from the witch community, they want to magically lobotomize her, too. Yeah, not good. Obviously, Rachel likes her magic right where it is, so she does what she’s good at, fights tooth and nail for her rights.
This book starts out with a bang and ends on an even bigger explosion. Everyone and their mother wants a piece of Rachel. With Rachel’s ability to perform demon magic, and what that means for her future, we have the coven, Al, Trent, Pierce, and Nick all running after her. Which of course equals a good time for us readers.
First off, OMG. I truly hate Nick. I have to give Harrison credit for creating such a dynamic character. At first we love him, but slowly, book by book, we start seeing his true colors, and boy are they black. If you didn’t hate Nick before, you will after reading Black Magic Sanction.
Pierce is a big part of this book. I personally don’t like him, but he and Rachel are definitely forming a connection, especially after Al sends him to watch over his investment (Rachel). Speaking of the best freakin’ demon in all the urban fantasy world. Al is my favorite character in this series. I love to hate him, and hate to love him. He adds spice to every scene. If you are going to read this book for only one reason, it’ll be to see what Al does next. Trent is still complex in his logic as he is devious in his plans for the future. He may not be the best kind of person, but he knows how to handle his business. I respect him for that.
Alcatraz Prison, where the black magic practitioners are held, was the best part of the book. I don’t want to give too much away but we get to see what witches get when they turn bad, and it ain’t cotton candy and lollipops. Though that would be kinda cool.
Be ready to cry a little in this book. Something huge happens that really plucks the heart strings. I think we all knew it was going to happen because Harrison was preparing us for it, but, dear Lord, it was still hard to take.
There is no denying that Black Magic Sanction was packed with action, suspense, and mystery. Again, not all things end in the best of ways, but you can’t help but admire Rachel for her ability to somehow always make it through a crises.
Here is my main problem. I feel the series really isn’t going anywhere. The developments and forward progression of the characters and stories take FOREVER. It’s almost like Harrison is stalling. For what? I don’t know.
Rachel’s decision making just seems to be getting worse and worse. I know it’s horrible to say but I’m starting to actually wish bad on her.
Many of the plot twists and turns were a little too convenient for my taste.
One sex scene. Nothing much to note. It gets a little more physical than the last session of “witch sex” Harrison likes to create, but still pretty mild.
Overall this book was very entertaining. You will laugh, cry, and scream in frustration. Rachel may not be the most intelligent and logical character, but her friends are ruthless and smart enough to help her triumph in the end every time. I am still a devoted reader to this series and I highly recommend this book to my readers.